Mexico: no large-scale GM corn fields (yet)

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GMO corn

According to a top Mexican government, as reported by Reuters, the approval of the highly controversial genetically modified (GM) corn fields will be determined next year after President-elect Enrique Pena Nieto of the Institutional Revolutionary Party takes office on December 1.

Mariano Ruiz, a deputy agriculture secretary, said in an interview that he does not expect permits to be approved for four to five months. That said, Ruiz shares concerns that the new government is likeminded in its support for the introduction of large-scale GMO corn cultivation in Mexico.

“I think we are in agreement generally over the importance of having this instrument, and that farmers have the tool of genetically modified organisms,” said Ruiz. “But like they say, the devil is in the details.”

Mexico plants 17.8 million acres of corn each year and opponents of the GM corn have pointed out that GM corn will “contaminate native strains” and in turn, harm the grain’s biodiversity. Supporters of the GM corn say that the new strand will boost production and help Mexico become less dependent on imports.